Kurdistan’s first female presidential candidate

z47Hillary Clinton’s announcement for presidency has been met with praise and worldwide glee at the prospect of a female leader in United States.

She tweeted, “I’m running for president. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I wanted to be that champion.” The Tweet has been retweeted more than 100,000 times and her YouTube campaign video has more than four million views.

Watching her campaign from state to state vigorously with a huge number of supporters makes one wonder whether Kurdistan could ever reach a stage where female presidential candidates will come forth to lead the region into prosperity.

Female leadership in Middle East has been weak, and at best ineffective because of the patriarchal forces holding women back from seizing political positions. In Kurdistan Region, the current government has one female minister, a sore reminder of the limited chairs given to women.

We lack female leaders in the region not because we don’t have women who are capable of leading the region, but because both the societal attitudes and male-dominated political spectrum make it incredibly difficult for women to politically function.

To change this narrative in Kurdistan, and set a higher standard throughout Middle East the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and political parties should endorse female politicians that deserve high-governmental positions. Ministerial positions should not be reserved largely for men, with one woman in place simply to brush off criticism.

KRG, unlike Iraq’s government, must make room for women because without them the region’s success will be tainted by patriarchy. As noted in the title of this blogpost, it’s not a female President that can challenge the status quo, but merely a female presidential candidate will suffice as a means of confronting archaic cultural attitudes that refuse to accept women as heads of state in the region.

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